Car accidents often leave drivers and passengers with serious injuries, including broken bones, burns, sprains, or nerve damage. If you have been injured, you will need immediate medical attention. Initially, you might use health insurance or pay out of pocket to receive care. But who is ultimately responsible for medical bills after a car accident?
Florida’s no-fault insurance scheme has made things complicated, but we will try to bring some simplicity to the process below.
You Are a Driver Injured in a Crash
Your no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits should kick in. Generally, most people carry only the state’s minimum, which is $10,000. Your policy must cover 80% of reasonable medical care up to the policy limit. Remember to receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident, otherwise your insurer can deny coverage.
Once you exhaust your PIP benefits, you have options depending on who is to blame for the crash and the severity of your injuries. In some cases, someone who has suffered a permanent injury can bring a lawsuit for compensation, and you can be reimbursed for your unpaid medical bills. If the driver who injured you does not have liability insurance, you can make a claim on your underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) policy.
Other injured victims will need to rely on their health insurance to cover the cost of medical care above and beyond PIP benefits.
You Are a Passenger Injured in a Crash
If you have a PIP policy as a named insured, then you can make a claim on your PIP benefits even if you are a passenger in someone else’s car. One common misconception is that you make a claim on the driver’s PIP policy. That is not true. Your PIP insurance follows you around.
If you exhaust your PIP benefits, you have many of the same options as those of an injured driver discussed above.
What happens if you are injured as a passenger but don’t have a PIP policy? In some cases, you might be covered by a relative’s policy if you live with them. If not, then the driver’s PIP policy should cover you.
Confused about Who Pays for Medical Bills? Reach Out to Us
Florida’s no-fault insurance scheme was meant to simplify an unruly system. However, it is very easy to get confused, so contact a seasoned Miami car accident lawyer today. Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein offers members of the public a free initial consultation, which you can schedule by calling 305-371-2692.